Fireworks Salt Painting for the 4th of July

Fireworks Salt Painting for the 4th of July

If you're like us, our favorite part about the Fourth of July are the fireworks displays! So let's create an art project that will will add some some sparkle and fun to your day! Raised salt fireworks paintings are a fantastic way to combine art and a bit of science, creating a beautiful piece with a unique texture.

This project not only teaches kids about art and color theory but also incorporates elements of science. They can observe how salt absorbs water and spreads the paint, making it an excellent STEAM activity. Additionally, working with different materials and techniques helps develop fine motor skills and encourages creative thinking.

This project is perfect for students of all ages, allowing them to experiment with different techniques and express their creativity. Follow these steps to create your own dazzling fireworks display!


Materials Needed

  • Heavyweight paper (I used black but any color is fine)
  • Pencil to sketch
  • Liquid glue (white school glue)
  • Salt (table salt or kosher salt)
  • Watercolor paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Draw Your Fireworks

Begin by lightly sketching your fireworks on the heavyweight paper with a pencil. Encourage students to create various shapes and sizes to mimic the look of real fireworks. 

2. Apply the Glue

Once the fireworks are sketched, trace over the pencil lines with liquid glue. Be generous with the glue to ensure a good amount for the salt to adhere to. Remind kiddos to work carefully to maintain the shape of their fireworks.

3. Sprinkle the Salt


While the glue is still wet, sprinkle salt generously over the entire glue design. Make sure all the glue is covered with a thick layer of salt. Gently shake off any excess salt into a tray or container for easy cleanup.

4. Add the Watercolor


Once the glue and salt are dry, it's time to add color! Dip a paintbrush into watercolor paint and verrrrry gently just touch the bristles to the salted areas. Watch as the paint spreads and creates a beautiful, textured effect. Experiment with different colors to make your fireworks vibrant and dynamic. Remind your kids to use enough water with their watercolor paints to ensure the color spreads nicely.

5. Let It Dry 

Allow the paint to dry completely before handling the artwork. This will prevent any smudging and ensure the colors stay vibrant!

Tips and Variations

  • Experiment with Colors: Encourage students to use a variety of colors for their fireworks to create a more realistic and exciting display.
  • Other Shapes: This technique isn’t limited to fireworks! Try using the same process to create other raised salt art. You can draw anything with glue as long as your design is somewhat simple! 
  • Group Project: This can be a great collaborative project for a classroom, where each student contributes a piece to a larger fireworks display.

Creating a raised salt fireworks painting is a fun and educational activity that can light up any home or classroom. It allows kids to explore new art techniques, express their creativity, and learn about the science behind the art. Try this project for the 4th of July (or any time) and watch your kiddos' faces light up with excitement! 

For a video of this lesson, check out my segment on Talk Pittsburgh here! 

Happy creating! xo 

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